The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is launching the Welcome Back Proud Michigan Educators campaign for educators with expired credentials to return to the teaching workforce by reducing or eliminating professional learning recertification requirements. The campaign recognizes these educators' experience and preparation while providing an opportunity for immediate employment with a local education agency (LEA), both traditional public school districts and public school academies (PSAs), as part of strategic efforts to increase the number of certified educators in areas of shortage.
- Press Release Announcement
- Welcome Back Proud Michigan Educators Memo
- Welcome Back Proud Michigan Educators FAQ
- Participating Districts
To participate in the campaign, districts may apply for a waiver on behalf of an educator for a reduction or elimination of professional learning hours, depending on the individual's years of teaching experience and time away from the workforce.
Professional learning required by Michigan Compiled Law MCL 380.1233(6) for school counselors cannot be waived. Educators with a school counselor credential (including teaching certificates with a school counselor (NT) endorsement) must fulfill the professional development requirements under MCL 380.1233(6) before any additional hours may be waived.
All educators will be required to fulfill the legal professional practices requirements, including fingerprinting and background checks, as a precursor to recertification and employment.
Educators with expired certificates have received a direct communication from MDE with information about the campaign. Educators who may be eligible but did not receive the email may complete this eligibility survey to determine eligibility.
Information for Districts
Participating LEAs must complete the waiver request application tool. The LEA will provide information about the educator's certificate and experience through the application and the tool will determine the educator's eligibility for waiver options, submit the request to MDE, and provide instructions for the next steps.
Districts may immediately begin to see applicants with expired credentials and should consider them viable applicants. MDE is providing an opportunity for interested educators to submit their contact information to share with participating districts. Districts interested in receiving this contact information for outreach to potential employees should complete the Welcome Back Proud Michigan Educator contact information request form. Districts are encouraged to post the campaign logo on their employment webpage as an indicator of participation.
Alternative Professional Learning Opportunity
Educators without prospective employment may participate in the campaign by accessing member benefits, including quality professional learning opportunities designed for teachers wishing to transition back into the workforce, offered through the Michigan Education Association (MEA) Teacher Re-Entry Program. An educator enrolling in the program can receive up to the full 150 hours required for recertification for a low cost of $100 a year until an individual has been hired into full-time employment and is eligible for a full regular membership. For more information, call 1-866-MEA-HELP.
Questions about the waiver process should be directed to MDE-EducatorHelp@Michigan.gov or 517-241-5000.